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Jewish groups press for additional security grant funding in 2024 appropriations bill

Community groups are pushing for $500 million in NSGP funding as part of the 2024 appropriations process, on top of expected funding in the national security supplemental

MARCO BELLO/AFP via Getty Images

A Miami Beach police patrol drives past Temple Emanu-El synagogue in Miami Beach, Florida, on October 9, 2023, after Hamas launched an attack on Israel.

As Congress works to finalize 2024 government funding by the new mid-March shutdown deadline, Jewish communal groups are urging lawmakers to increase funding for nonprofit security grants to $500 million, in addition to funding expected as part of the emergency aid bill for Israel and other U.S. allies.

A coalition of 14 Jewish groups sent a letter on Thursday to the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House and Senate, as well as the leaders of each chamber’s appropriations committee, calling for the funding increase.

“We are grateful that Congress has delivered record funding to protect America’s Jewish and faith institutions. Sadly, the new reality requires us to do more to keep our communities safe,” the letter reads. “A key way is by including increased funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program in the annual appropriations and supplemental funding bill, so at-risk communities can be protected from the rising threat of hate.”

The letter was signed by the Anti-Defamation League, Orthodox Union, Jewish Federations of North America, Agudath Israel, American Jewish Committee, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Hadassah, Hillel International, the JCC Association of North America, the National Council of Jewish Women, the Rabbinical Assembly, the Secure Community Network, the Union for Reform Judaism and the United Synagogue for Conservative Judaism.

The funding request well exceeds the $360 million that most Jewish groups had been pursuing for the program in 2024 prior to the Oct. 7 Hamas attack, which remained the goal for some groups in the immediate aftermath of the attack.

In the letter, the groups highlight the long-standing, significant shortfalls in funding for the program at past levels, as well as the precipitous rise in threats to Jewish communities since Oct. 7 — as well as rising violence against Muslim and other communities.

The funding request is also separate from the supplemental aid bill for Israel, Ukraine and other U.S. allies, which remains stalled in the Senate. Senate leadership has proposed including an additional $1 billion — on top of the final 2024 allocation — for the grant program.

The letter additionally urges lawmakers to pursue “the highest possible funding for NSGP in any national security emergency supplemental.”

“Between these two vehicles” — the supplemental and the 2024 appropriations process — “it is critical that Congress appropriate the highest possible funding to meet the rising demand, addressing the increased dangers facing the Jewish communities,” the letter continues.

In a statement to JI, ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt highlighted ADL’s finding that more than 630 incidents — including bomb threats and swatting incidents — have targeted Jewish institutions.

“In this dangerous environment, Jewish and nonprofit institutions need the appropriate resources to secure themselves against this rising tide of threats and violence,” Greenblatt said. “This is why increased funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program is more important than ever. The Jewish community is united in urging Congress to act expeditiously to fund this potentially life-saving program in both the yearly appropriations bill and the national security supplemental.”

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